Get Alone With God
Prayer before and after situations gives you a better understanding of God's direction for you. It's vitally important to spend daily time with God. Even 5 or 10 minutes will refresh you and guide you.
And hello radio friends! How in the world are you? Doing alright? Thank God you can be in the world but not of it, and that’s the background of that little greeting that establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you once again, to share from the Word of God. We’re looking at the book of Mark, chapter 6. “The apostles gathered themselves together”, this is verse 30 of Mark chapter 6, “apostles gather themselves together unto Jesus and told Him all things, what they had done, what they’d taught”. Now, remember He had sent them out on the deputation tour, it said, “They it went out preached that men should repent”, that’s Mark 6:12, “cast out many demons and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them”. Then we don’t hear anymore about their trip, while the story shifts over to the matter about John the Baptist and his tragic end, beheaded because of the fury of Herodias, and now that John’s disciples heard about it, and they came and took up his corpse and laid it in the tomb. Well it says, “The apostles gather themselves together and told Him all things what they had done, what they had taught”. Do you ever do a postmortem on your, on your efforts with the Lord? Most of our praying has to do with what we want from God, isn’t it true? “Lord bless me in this and guide me in that, and supply the other need and take care of such and such persons, loved ones generally, or members of your church, or members of your college or your business or your neighbors or friends, and it has to do with asking Him to do something that is not yet done. Our praying often times, and I would think for the most part, has the idea of, Lord there is something that yet needs to be accomplished either by way of meeting a need or averting a danger or healing a heartache, or saving a soul or whatever may be, and please do this. We bring a sort of a laundry list to God, isn’t it true? Now, that’s all right. God never said we shouldn’t do it, says, “Let your requests be made known unto God. Call unto to Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”. So, future blessing is part of God’s plan, no problem, but I’d just like to drop a thought into your mind. The disciples told Jesus all things what they had done and what they had thought. Do you ever do a postmortem on your morning service, pastor? I mean with the Lord not just your wife, or some other helpful church member who will tell you what was wrong. I have had some folk like that, haven’t you preachers? Oh boy, I used to get a call either a knock on the front door or a telephone call about 6:30, 6 or 6:30 on a Monday morning, and the inevitable question would be, did I get you up? My answer of course would be, no, I had to answer the doorbell anyway. Oh boy, and then I would hear what had been wrong the day before. There’s always somebody helpful like that, isn’t there? Oh dear,Â God bless the dear people, they’re wonderful.
But, I’m talking now not about human beings giving you a rundown on things that happened, that’s very helpful and we ought to learn to listen. We who are preachers listen to your critics, don’t fight them. You might learn something while listening to someone who’s giving you a friendly word of criticism or advice, but now I’m talking about getting together with your Lord, saying, Lord this is what happened and this is what I did and this is what I said. What do you think about it? Teach me by your Spirit and tell Him all that you’ve done, and all that you’ve taught. Is that a new concept to you? Well it’s been very helpful to me, I must say, after a meeting is over to get alone with God and just talk things over with Him. After a series of meetings, after a conference, or after a business decision has been made, whatever, you know I pray before, so do you. Pray before a meeting, pray before you answer a letter, pray before you sign a contract, pray before you answer a phone, pray before you go on a date if you’re young and dating, pray before things. Yes of course we must do that, but then after it’s over get alone with your Lord, say, Lord teach me something, let’s go over this again. This has been very helpful to me and I pass the idea to you, it’s free, no charge.
Well, He knew they were tired and so He said, “Come apart into a desert place and rest a while, for there were many coming and going they had no leisure so much as to eat”, couldn’t even eat without people coming in on them. They departed into a desert place by ship privately. Well, they didn’t get away very long. “People saw them departing, many knew them ran afoot through, out of all cities, and out with them and came together around Him”. Let’s go back then to verse 31 he said, “Come ye yourselves apart in to a desert place and rest a while”.
Wendell Loveless, I guess, was the one who coined the phrase, “If you don’t come apart you’ll soon come apart”, but you know, there’s some value in just backing off from stated routine and getting alone with the Lord. Every success book you’ll ever read has in it somewhere, the admonition to structure some solitude for yourself. That’s at least the way some people put it. Carve out some time to be alone, structure some solitude for yourself. That’s what the success people, the folk that write on how to say, every person needs time alone, deliberately carved out of a busy schedule, time to think and because you and I are Christians, time to pray and to listen to God. Now, in an everyday workaday world, the best, the best procedure it seems to me, is to take the early morning hour and spend that with your Lord alone. Oh, I know it means getting up earlier than you ordinarily would, but if you’re going fishing Mister, you’d get up at 3:30 in the morning and never would you complain, not a whimper, not a groan, you’d get up and you’d get going. I read somewhere the fisherman Psalm, “Behold the fisherman, he rises early in the morning. He disturbeth the whole household with his preparations, great are his expectations and when the day is far spent, he return of smelling of strong drink and the truth is not in him”. Well, of course that one phrase about strong drink, you ought to leave that out because you’re a Christian. Well, you don’t complain when you’ve got something that excites you. That’s my point. So now you’re going to talk to the King of the universe, the one who runs it all, the one whose Almighty power can make your life a miracle instead of a drudge, oh that’s exciting! Take 15 or 20 minutes or 30 minutes, before you start the day, get alone with your Lord. Lorne Sanny, who for numbers of years was head of the Navigators, wrote little leaflet on how to have a successful devotional time in seven minutes. If you’re all that busy, you can at least spend seven minutes with God. Time to read His word, to confess your sins, to worship and to adore Him, to ask for his guidance, to commit yourself by faith to Him and then to go on your way. It doesn’t take all that long to commit yourself to the Lord, but oh the value there is beloved, in just getting alone with God. “Come apart”, said He, “into a desert place and rest a while”. Now, how often do you need that kind of a break? Well, I don’t know. Somebody asked Lincoln, how, when they were considering the nomination of a man who was quite short in stature, someone asked how long should a man’s legs be and Lincoln answered, long enough to reach the ground. I don’t know how often you ought to back off from your stated routines and take some extra time. I know that you ought every day to get alone with God, I know that.
When should you have a time when you really feel you have to get away from it all? Well there’s a couple of thoughts that may be helpful. When you have that fed up feeling, nothing works right, you’re tired of it all, you don’t get any of any joy out of the duties that are yours, the world calls it burnout. Well whatever it is, that’s the time to get alone with your Lord. Don’t quit your job, don’t go don’t run away from your obligations, instead seek your Lord. That’s what happened to Elijah. He was so tired he wanted to die, which was of course a mistake because that’s apt to be fatal, and God knew it and so He rested and fed him and gave him a new touch. When you’re burned out and some of my listeners may feel just that way this minute. You just, you’ve had it up to here, you just don’t want any more. Well, at that point you better get alone with your Lord. Look if you broke your leg, you’d be off the job for six weeks. You certainly can take an hour or two or a day, go somewhere, rent a motel room, get alone with God, get down beside the bed and call on God and pray until your eyes are wet and your heart is warm, read His Word until His Holy Spirit speaks to you directly and ministers to your need. Confess your sins and shortcomings and failings, and trust Him for a new touch. By the time you’re finished my friend, you’ll have new strength and new vision as well, you won’t be burned out anymore. “Come apart into a desert place and rest a while”. When do you need it? When you feel burned out, when you feel like you had it, when you feel fed up, when you have lost the glow and the shine and the thrill of serving God, at that point seek your Lord, don’t wait. Nothing else is as important as that. What do you do when you’re seeking God? What do you do when you want to back off from your routines and be refreshed? Well, I think I already told you moment ago, get alone. Alone, a place where you can lock the door and throw the key away, as we say, and then get into God’s Word, open His Word and read it, let Him speak to you and pray honestly. Have a little agenda prayer and go down the list of things that are on your heart. Pray about you, your character, your needs, your failings, and faults and sins and all that. Let the blood of Christ cleanse your conscience, get right with God. The essence of fatigue, listen to me, the essence of fatigue often times, comes from a guilty conscience. When your conscience is cleansed, your energies are renewed, and so let the Lord cleanse your conscience and forgive your sins and restore you to fellowship and then wait on Him for His blessed touch upon your life. Good idea? Some of us need that, I know some of my listeners are so terribly busy, you scarcely have time to turn around. Oh how busy you are, and it’s nobody’s fault, is not yours, it’s just in the nature of things, but I can guarantee you that if you took a little time alone with God, you’d be far more effective you’d have the thrill of being a worker, together with Almighty God. Get God into the act. It’ll go better.
Dear Father today, help us to have the good sense to get alone with Thee to be refreshed and renewed, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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